Manafort Comapres Jail to VIP Treatment, Prosecutors Say

14 July, 2018, 04:02 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman

Manafort's attorneys complained that they were struggling to prepare for his trial because Manafort was being held in the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, more than two hours from Washington, D.C.

Also on Wednesday, Mueller's office filed a motion in the Washington case notifying the court of its intent to present evidence at trial about a Justice Department inspection into Manafort's lobbying activities in the 1980's.

"Among the unique privileges Manafort enjoys at the jail are a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units, his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone, and his own workspace to prepare for trial", the prosecutors wrote. Manafort faces charges of tax fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, witness tampering and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Judge T.S Ellis offered a solution, ordering Manafort be transferred to a closer jailhouse located in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington D.C so that he could meet with his defense more frequently.

Manafort has had hundreds of phone calls with his lawyers and even more with others and has sent emails through his lawyers to outside contacts, the special counsel's office wrote in the filing.

As for listening in on Manafort's phone calls, Nanavati wrote: "Armed with personal conversations between Mr. Manafort and his family, the special counsel selects snippets to support its version of events". A federal judge ended Manafort's home detention and ordered him jailed after his indictment on attempted witness tampering while awaiting trial.

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Though Manafort's lawyers have said he spends almost all of his days in solitary confinement, prosecutors described his living arrangements as a "private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units" with its own bathroom and shower. During his time at Northern Neck jail, ABC News reported that Manafort stayed in a cell by himself in the facility's VIP section, surrounded by walls painted in two shades of brown: bagel and biscuit. The judge added that Manafort's "access to counsel and his ability to prepare for trial trumps his personal comfort". He denied Manafort's request to throw out from the trial evidence investigators had obtained from his apartment in Alexandria last July. He told people over a recorded phone line from the jail that he was being treated like a VIP and had reviewed all of the evidence before the trial, prosecutors said.

"If five lawyers take up five rooms, then you wait in line for someone to finish", defense attorney Marina Medvin said.If they take up the entire time slot, then you're out of luck - you need to leave and come back and hopefully be first in line".

The jail houses about 400 inmates, and at least 150 beds are reserved for federal prisoners like Manafort.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

Separately, in Washington federal court, prosecutors building a second criminal case against Manafort disclosed their allegation that the longtime lobbyist's foreign lobbying violations date to the 1980s.

Hull said that when jail officials learned Manafort was communicating by email, his attorneys were told to stop the practice.

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